A massive fire damaged seven buildings Friday morning in a Jersey Shore community, officials say.
The five-alarm fire near the Atlantic Ocean in Monmouth County’s Ocean Grove broke out shortly after 5 a.m.
Responding firefighters discovered the intense blaze in a neighborhood near Wesley Lake beginning to spread, quickly calling for additional resources from the area.
Neptune Township Police Department Capt. Michael McGhee believes the fire on Lake, Beach, and Seaview avenues sparked in the vacant Warrington Rest Home, which was once used as a boarding house.
From there, the fire progressed to the Marlborough and LaPierre condominium buildings and three single-family homes.
Four of the buildings were “gutted,” the Neptune Township Office of Emergency Management tweeted.
All residents escaped unharmed, McGhee said, adding that two firefighters suffered minor injuries.
“It could have been much, much worse. We’ve had too many fires in Ocean Grove when we’ve lost the entire block,” he said.
The fire was brought under control by 11:30 a.m.
The Red Cross is offering assistance to displaced residents at St. Paul’s Church at 80 Embury Avenue.
The cause remains under investigation.
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